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Recent Articles by Brian

The difference between design and Design

By Brian O'Neill

I am guessing if you’re reading this, it’s because there’s room for your analytics service or data product to get better, and maybe you know that simply adding more data sources, algorithms, bug fixes, or [insert today’s hype cycle tech], … Read moreThe difference between design and Design

Design KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?

By Brian O'Neill

I know to a lot of software teams, getting features/fixes/releases out the door feels like improvement. However, did you actually create or improve the value of your service? To to that, you have to understand what your users actually value, … Read moreDesign KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?

Dashboard Design: Is Maximum Simplicity the Goal?

By Brian O'Neill

Should maximum simplicity dictate success? We all love usability these days right? “User experience is important.” Of course it is! But, it doesn’t mean that every user you show the design to is going to, or should immediately be able … Read moreDashboard Design: Is Maximum Simplicity the Goal?

From a data scientist on Medium: “It’s easy to not understand your customer’s needs.”

By Brian O'Neill

So a guy walks into a bar and starts talking about unsupervised learning… Ok, not quite. Well actually, where I live in Cambridge, MA, that’s not really so improbable 😉 I found this article on Medium interesting, written by a data scientist … Read moreFrom a data scientist on Medium: “It’s easy to not understand your customer’s needs.”

It’s the translation that makes your data sing – what song are you singing?

By Brian O'Neill

Some of you probably know by now that I’m also a musician, and this includes composing for my instrumental jazz/chamber music quintet. What does this have to do with translation of your data? When I talk about data in on … Read moreIt’s the translation that makes your data sing – what song are you singing?

How to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews

By Brian O'Neill

Readers of DFA know that I’m big on not immediately giving customers what they asked for, and instead asking the question “why” to learn what the real latent customer needs are. And for you internal analytics folks, remember your employees, … Read moreHow to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews

The Easiest Way to Simplify Your Product or Solution’s Design

By Brian O'Neill

Ok, you probably know this one, but let’s dig in a little farther. I recently started to explore using the TORBrowser when surfing on public wi-fi for more security (later finding out that using a VPN, and not TOR, is … Read moreThe Easiest Way to Simplify Your Product or Solution’s Design

(8) invisible design problems that are business problems

By Brian O'Neill

Today’s insight was originally inspired by a newsletter I read from Stephen Anderson on designing for comprehension, and I felt like this could be expanded on for analytics practitioners and people working on data products. One of the recurring themes … Read more(8) invisible design problems that are business problems

What internal analytics practitioners can learn from analytics “products” (like SAAS)

By Brian O'Neill

When I work on products that primarily exist to display analytics information, I find most of them fall into roughly four different levels of design maturity: The best analytics-driven products give actionable recommendations or predictions written in prose telling a user what … Read moreWhat internal analytics practitioners can learn from analytics “products” (like SAAS)